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Year : 2004  |  Volume : 41  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 51-59

The carcinoma of parathyroid gland


Department of Medical Oncology, Tata Memorial Hospital, Parel, Mumbai, India

Correspondence Address:
Purvish M Parikh
Department of Medical Oncology, Tata Memorial Hospital, Parel, Mumbai
India
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None


PMID: 15318009

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Parathyroid carcinoma constitutes less than 1% of primary hyperparathyroidism. The exact etiology is not known. Prior radiation to neck, chronic renal failure and genetic factors are thought to play a role. The male to female ratio is one. Parathyroid carcinomas are slow growing, have a tendency to recur locally and metastasize late. 95% of parathyroid carcinomas are functioning. The major distinguishing features of malignant hyperparathyroidism are presence of a palpable mass in the neck and features of severe hypercalcemia. By far the most important test to diagnose primary hyperparathyroidism is serum level of Immunoreactive PTH. The diagnosis of primary hyperparathyroidism is essentially clinical and biochemical. Biopsy is not necessary before definitive surgery. CT scan appears to be the best investigation for detecting the primary tumor, its local extent and metastases. Most of the symptoms are attributable to hypercalcemia, which needs to be treated aggressively. Early surgery with 'en bloc' resection of the tumor is the only potentially curative treatment. Parathyroid carcinoma is traditionally said to be resistant to radiotherapy. Various chemotherapeutic agents have been used with partial anecdotal responses. The 5-year survival is about 50% and 10-year survival varies from 13-49%.






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